“Echoes of Family Lost” – a partial victory

characters, coming soon, deadlines, indie publishing, new books

As I and my esteemed colleague, Will, have said over and over:  if you want to actually complete a project, set a deadline; preferably an irrational one.

Yesterday afternoon I uploaded the pdf of my second novel to CreateSpace.  I had set Easter as my goal.  Just like NaNoWriMo, I beat the clock by three days.  At a 6″x9″ paperback format, it’s about 214 pages.  Longer than “The Fourth Law,” but then I’ve got two plot lines to manage, rather than just one.  I know I could have written more (the Pine Bluff, AR scene! dammit!) but Will has always warned me about my tendency to lecture.

This blog post title is ‘a partial victory.’  That’s because my intent was to actually publish by Easter.  That was my fault:  I wanted Will to do the front/back covers again, but he’s busy with other projects and I did spring all this on him rather suddenly.  I’m hoping to have the artwork in 1-2 weeks.

Aside:  two nights ago, in the basement with my wife, watching anime, I mentioned that I’d finished and didn’t know what to do next.  After a few minutes, out of the blue, she said, “Your next book should be about Henge.”  Henge (pronounced “hen-geh”) is the youngest of Machine Civilization; a quiet, reserved little girl AI (yes:  they hate that term).  I chewed on that idea – and drank more wine – and had the wild idea of making a 20-page illustrated children’s book, with Henge as the narrator.  Interesting.

Below the fold is another excerpt from “Echoes of Family Lost.”  I’ll let you know when I actually publish it.  Thanks for y’all’s support!  Oh:  spoiler warning, and all that.

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Better Never Than Late

characters, independent, introductions

Two months without an update?  We suck; sorry.

There is some good news:  I’ve completed the sequel to “The Fourth Law.”  I’m in the midst of editing and such right now.  A bit longer than the first book; understandable as the focus has gone from two main characters to…well… several more.

Besides putting in chapter breaks and other coding matters, I’ve the little issue of thinking up a name for the thing.  “The Fourther Law” sounds stupid, and I didn’t come up with a Fifth Law (although ‘remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses’ is a sensible one).  Maybe a free copy for whomever comes up with a good title?

My objective was to have at least a Kindle version released by Easter, two weeks from today.  I’m much older at formatting that I was back in December, so I just might make that.

I’ve put an excerpt below the fold.  No spoiler warnings, per se, but if you’ve not read my first book, there are a few things revealed.  Cheerio!

The Fourth Law… coming soon

characters, New Ideas, writing

My  most esteemed colleague has completed the final cover art for my novel.  Good enough for the critical eye of my wife, good enough for me!

There may be one last minor textual revision… the Gods of Copybook Headings tend to hide where you least expect them.  However, I’m pleased enough with this version.  Has anyone every really read the first Harry Potter book?  Will I be called a racist if I pointed out that it was awful?  Grand ideas, but awful writing.  I feel that about my own work; it reads like the Gospel of Mark:  bare bones, no description, aching for more.  That’s what happens when you’re weaned on Visual Novels with a great artist to show your images.  I shall try to older next time.

Next time?  Of course I’m writing another!  What’s the point of a cliff-hanger if you don’t jump off of it!  Callie and her little son, Gary, with his most peculiar friend.  Lily, android Fausta, and Orloff setting out across country (yes; the horse’s name is Clyde) to find her.  The secret society of lightning; the open society of machine civilization… where’s the world going? won’t somebody tell me? are we all one?

Somewhere, back on Lily’s Path, in her tee shirt covered by blue jean overalls, Henge thinks… “I’ll help them…big sisters; big brother!”  Who will play this wild card?  Missiles fall in Memphis; a reactor fail?

I’ve no idea.

Direxions 2 – Rod & Vanessa

characters, introductions, New Ideas

[We originally conceived of “Hot Rod” as a one-off hentai (or, 18+) manga for release on something like the Fakku website. Then, of course, I started writing…and writing.  Suddenly,  I’d enough material for at least three volumes; as is my wont, I just kept finding out more interesting things about these new characters!  About this time, I attended a couple of panels about ‘Webcomics’ at a local animecon.  If we released two pages a week…well, then I’ve already enough material for months!  I can stop now!

Of course, I didn’t. I wanted to know more about Rod Blaine, 19-years old, seven months away from getting his welding certificate from a local vo-tech at a little city in the US Midwest.  He lives with his step-mother and step-sister…how’d that come about?  I wondered how an 18-year old girl like Vanessa Holt developed such an aggressive personality…because she’s only 4’10”?  Able to swing from a punching-rage to cuddly in seconds…why?

Mr. Deonne is preoccupied with some other projects right now, so I see this as an exercise for me to re-learn how to write in a non-visual novel style.

The excerpt below the fold takes place in the Spring on a late Saturday morning. After their karate class, Vanessa wanted to see Rod’s place, so she followed him home.  Note that this is likely PG…although I’d no problems if one of my kids read it]

Direxions 1 – Aya Donne

characters

Aya knife

[Aya is a secondary character from Aris’ and Aoi’s paths in OTChi Kocchi.  A bit like kudzu, she plays a very minor role against Aris, but grows to dominate the last Act of Aoi’s path.  She is featured in both planned sequels in the OKaverse:  “Aoi’s Gone!” and “Through the Iris.”  While looking to be an Celtic girl of about 12-years old…she’s not.

This excerpt is from “Aoi’s Gone,” following Shirou’s efforts to find out what’s happened to Aoi and how to get her back.  This is from my notes, so it’s not quite in either RenPy code nor normative story writing.]

Reflexions 3 – Aris Kaguya

characters

aris_plainclothes_glare

[A third of the paths of OTChi Kocchi, Aris.  ‘A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma.’  Tall and reserved; guarded speech; and is she really reading your mind…?

This excerpt is from her Act 2, Scene 2.  Note that in RenPy code, “ar” is Aris talking, “sh” is Shirou talking and anything just in quotes is Shirou thinking.]

Reflexions 2 – Rimu Shizuoka

characters

rimu_big_eyes

[Another of the four main paths of OTChi Kocchi, Rimu, an artist with big dreams, is the protagonist’s childhood friend, even if she routinely beat him up.  They are reunited in the Pharmacy after losing touch with one another for the past two years.

This excerpt is from her Act 3, Scene 1.  Note that in RenPy code, “ri” is Rimu talking, “sh” is Shirou talking and anything just in quotes is Shirou thinking.]

Reflexions 1 – Aoi Yamada

characters

aoi_grin

[One of the four main paths of OTChi Kocchi, Aoi is a fun, high-energy girl that seems flighty, but is actually steppy.  She works in the Pharmacy while pursuing her degree in nursing; likes long walks and big meals.

This excerpt is from Act 1, Scene 20d.  Note that in RenPy code, “ao” is Aoi talking, “sh” is Shirou talking and anything just in quotes is Shirou thinking.]